Thursday, November 08, 2007

Updates From the Void

Yeah, it's been a while. I can't say I've been busy, just the opposite actually. School is not in full exam mode which leaves me with very nice long days of walking, reading and watching episodes of Star Trek TNG provided by friends in the States.

Aside from recreational activities, I have managed to do a few worth-while things:

Cookin' meat (and goat skin)

Climbin' mountains


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's Cold

It is unusually cold right now. It's been this way for almost a week now. Whatever happened to summer?

On the positive side of things, I got a ride to school in a taxi with spinners this morning. That was pretty exciting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Prizes Are Out

Some highlights from the Prize Giving Ceremony that took place last week.

The Choir was my favorite part of the whole evening.The church where the event took place.  It was across the street from the school.  Despite the pastor being 45 minutes late to unlock the hall, we managed to end on time.

Me, getting my super special certificate from the school.Me, giving a certificate to Matroos, one of the members of the Tech Squad.
A group of learners after they got their certificates.  I took about a hundred of these... 

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Time to Award

Yeah, it's time yet again for the prize giving ceremony at school. That means it's also time for me to spend two days in front of a computer printing 700+ certificates. Hey, it's a living. Oh wait, it's not. Almost forgot...

The prize giving ceremony is quiet a big deal for learners. To fully appreciate just what a big deal this is, you have to first understand what it means to get a certificate here in Namibia. For most Namibians, especially the young and yearning to be rich type, certificates are the only things that set them apart in job interviews. Think of how you would set yourself apart if everyone you knew also graduated from high school and spoke three languages. It's the certificates that show active participation in programs and vocational training.

Thus, the prize giving ceremony is more about stockpiling things that may potentially land you a few extra bucks in the future. That's why in addition to the typical academic awards (best in subject, best in class), everyone who simply passes a course gets a certificate. On top of that, add the sports teams, choir, girls Club, various computer clubs and random "cultural awards" that I still don't quite understand, and you've got 700 certificates to give out in a school of roughly 750 students. If I went here, I'd like those odds...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tech Squad Goes North

The Tech Squad recently visited Oshakati and Outapi in the north.  It's the first time the Squad has made it to the true north of Namibia (above the red line).  It was also the first time that we split the Squads up and did workshops at two sites at the same time. 

Overall it was a success.  The workers at Catholic AIDS Action were very pleased with learning how to run a Photo Lab.  They will use their new Digital Photography and printing skills to opperate a Photo Lab as an income generation project.

In Outapi the squad worked with members of the AIDS club and taught them basic computer literacy skills.   Despite the 16 hours of driving it took to make the trip possible, everything went very well.

Kali and Leena with some learners that participated in the workshop in Outapi.
The computer workshop participants showing their new certificates after their session in Outapi.
The participants of the Digital Photography workshop displaying the photos they just learned how to take and print.
Participants of the Photo Lab workshop showing their certificates.  These certificates are possible the most important aspect of job advancement in Namibia.
Lydia demonstrating some digital photography techniques on the computer.
Paulus, Lydia and myself after dinner on the second night.